Premier League roundup: Wolves thump dire Liverpool, United hang on for vital win

Premier League roundup: Wolves thump dire Liverpool, United hang on for vital win
Dawson celebrates his goal
Dawson celebrates his goal
Wolves dismantled a feeble Liverpool to make matters even worse for Jurgen Klopp, Manchester United hung on for a crucial win against Crystal Palace after Casemiro was sent off, Leicester City won a six-goal thriller, and more in the Premier League.

Aston Villa - Leicester 2-4

Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City side edged an incredible six-goal thriller at Villa Park, as they picked up their first Premier League victory since the World Cup break - ending a dismal run of five games without a win. 

Given the fact these two teams had netted in each of their last seven meetings at Villa Park, it was no surprise to see both sides were on the scoresheet at the break. A strong start from the home side saw them race to an early lead, when Ollie Watkins tapped home from close range, following Emi Buendía’s curling strike that clattered the crossbar. In control, a moment of madness from the Villa defence would cost them their advantage, as a mix-up at the back eventually allowed Leicester’s star-man James Maddison to slot home the leveller.

Maddison wouldn’t be the only Foxes player to find the net in an end-to-end first half, the only problem for Leicester being it was debutant Harry Souttar who inadvertently put the ball beyond teammate Danny Ward to restore Villa’s lead. However, fortunately for the Australian international, his blushes would be spared before the break, with Leicester netting twice in seven minutes to flip the game on its head. Kelechi Iheanacho struck the equaliser with a well-timed diving header, before another debutant, Tetê, rounded Villa shot-stopper Emiliano Martínez in stoppage time to give the visitors an unlikely HT lead.

After a breathless first half, the second period looked as if it may follow suit, with the ever-dangerous Tetê guiding a tantalising curled effort into the side netting just one minute after the restart. In search of a moment of brilliance themselves, Villa boss Julen Lopetegui turned to Philippe Coutinho and it looked as if the Brazilian would be the man to draw them level. Netting with 18 minutes to play, the ex-Liverpool forward’s celebrations would be cut short, with an offside flag silencing Villa Park.

A fortunate reprieve, Leicester needed little invitation to push for a goal that’d no doubt put the game out of sight. It arrived after another lapse in concentration from the Villa backline, with Dennis Praet ghosting in behind and slotting home the Foxes’ fourth of a dramatic afternoon in the West Midlands. The victory takes them up into mid-table, whereas Villa, who could’ve moved into the top-half with a victory today, now sit a hefty eight points off the Premier League’s European places.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Tetê (Leicester City)

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Brentford - Southampton 3-0

High-flying Brentford comfortably secured all three points with a 3-0 victory over Southampton, claiming back-to-back league victories against Southampton for the first time since 1959 in the process.

The Saints’ attention turned back to their Premier League survival battle after Newcastle United denied them a place in the final of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night. Meanwhile, Thomas Frank’s side had the luxury of a two-week break ahead of resuming their pursuit of a top-six berth. Using those fresher legs to their advantage, Brentford began the game on the front foot, with Yoane Wissa misfiring a close-range strike and rattling the crossbar after rounding Gavin Bazunu inside the box.

Southampton eventually settled into the fixture and started to ask questions of the home side as James Ward-Prowse attempted to create openings for the strugglers. Brentford, however, appeared unfazed as they continued to push for an opener. The Saints’ defence remained resolute under pressure from the home side, but it buckled as HT approached. First, Ben Mee headed home Bryan Mbuemo’s dangerous ball into the area before Wissa broke free and squared the ball to the Cameroon international, who this time turned goalscorer to tap home and double Brentford’s advantage.

Saints boss Nathan Jones responded by introducing new signings Paul Onuachu and Kamaldeen Sulemana from the bench after the interval. Now playing a 4-2-4 formation, Southampton came close to pulling a goal back when Sulemana forced a low save from David Raya after the two new boys combined. The away side valiantly pushed to salvage something from the game, with substitute Theo Walcott calling Raya into action as the clock ticked down.

Despite the Saints’ efforts, Brentford ultimately ended any slim hopes of a comeback in the 79th minute when Mathias Jensen met Rico Henry’s cross and planted his header into the net. As a result of the triumph, Brentford move up to sixth and are now unbeaten in nine PL games, while Southampton remain rooted to the bottom of the table.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Bryan Mbuemo (Brentford)

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Brighton - Bournemouth 1-0

A late goal from Kaoru Mitoma earned Brighton a dramatic 1-0 victory over relegation-threatened Bournemouth, as the Seagulls moved within five points of the Premier League (PL) top-four. 

Having amassed a club-record 31 points during the first half of the PL season, the hosts looked full of confidence during the opening exchanges. The first gilt-edged chance fell to Deniz Undav, who fired an effort against the post after his initial strike had been saved by Neto. Undeterred by Brighton’s early dominance, however, the visitors slowly grew into the contest, and came close to breaking the deadlock when Jefferson Lerma directed a good chance narrowly over the bar.

Both sides continued to push for an opener during an entertaining end to the first half. Billy Gilmour and Pascal Groß both saw efforts thwarted by last-ditch Bournemouth defending, while at the other end, Jaidon Anthony’s goal-bound strike was denied by a brilliant block from Brighton captain Lewis Dunk.

The hosts emerged after the restart eager to up the ante, but wasteful finishing from Danny Welbeck and Billy Gilmour continued to frustrate the home support. Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi looked to inject some much-needed dynamism with the introduction of Moisés Caicedo on the hour mark, but the Cherries’ rearguard held firm to keep the scores level going into the final 15 minutes.

Having recorded just one win from their previous 11 league matches, Bournemouth looked set to secure a vital point in their pursuit of PL survival. However, Brighton stole all three points with just three minutes remaining, as Mitoma connected with Jeremy Sarmiento’s cross and directed an accurate header beyond Neto to finally break the visitors’ resistance. While De Zerbi will be delighted with the three points, his counterpart in the opposite dugout, Gary O’Neil, will be extremely disappointed to concede so late on, and his team remain in 19th as a result.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Lewis Dunk (Brighton)

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Manchester United - Crystal Palace 2-1

Manchester United extended their unbeaten Premier League run on home turf to nine matches thanks to a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace, a result which also cemented United’s spot in the top-four.

When you go to Old Trafford as a side who aren’t one of the stereotypical ‘big six’ you certainly need lady luck on your side. Crystal Palace certainly didn’t have that in the opening stages, quite the opposite in fact as a brief VAR check adjudged Will Hughes to have handled in the box, affording Bruno Fernandes the chance from 12-yards to fire United ahead, one he duly converted. It was clear to see Palace were a side void of confidence, with their lack of creativity certainly of concern to boss Patrick Vieira, who has a long-running feud with United dating back to his Arsenal playing days.

United could count themselves slightly unlucky not to take a two goal advantage into the break, but Fred could only steer an effort just wide after some smart work from Wout Weghorst. Palace looked a little brighter after the break and were starting to look a bit more dangerous in and around the penalty area. However, their endeavours were soon diffused when the man of the moment Marcus Rashford was on hand to slam home United’s second of the afternoon to leave Palace with a mountain to climb to get back into the game.

It didn’t prove to be such a straightforward task for United to see the game out though, with VAR adjudging Casemiro to have raised his hands at Hughes, and the Brazilian was given his marching orders. Palace did at least give themselves a fighting chance of claiming an unlikely point when Jeffrey Schlupp rather fortuitously halved the arrears to set up a grandstand finish at Old Trafford. As it happened, a four centre half strong back line was able to stand tall for United and see out an all important three points in their bid for a top-four finish, while Palace remain winless in the Premier League in 2023.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Luke Shaw (Manchester United)

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Wolves - Liverpool 3-0

Liverpool fell to a third successive away defeat as they fell to a devastating 3-0 loss at Molineux by Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Liverpool came into the game off the back of a streak of three games without a win and back to back games without scoring a goal. The Reds dire run of form looked set to continue, as Hwang Hee-Chan raced through on goal before seeing his effort deflect off Jöel Matip before going in off the post. Things got worse for Liverpool just a matter of minutes later as Wolves doubled their lead. Craig Dawson managed to grab himself a debut goal, as he was quickest to react to prod home a loose ball following a save from Allison Becker.

The Reds were staring down the barrel of a third consecutive away loss for the first time since March 2012. However, Wolves were standing firm as Liverpool had still failed to test José Sá with just 20 minutes remaining. That was until a golden opportunity fell to the feet of Darwin Núñez, but the Uruguayan scuffed his effort straight into the arms of the Portuguese shot stopper. Núñez’s miss looked to be costly just minutes later when Rúben Neves added Wolves’ third. The midfielder received the ball from a pinpoint pass by Adama Traoré, before he rifled an effort into the goal and all but secured three points for the Wanderers.

Wolves saw out their comprehensive victory to climb out of the bottom three and leave Liverpool’s top four hopes in tatters, as they now sit ten points adrift with Newcastle set to play later in the evening.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Craig Dawson (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

See stats from the match at Flashscore